>> Not Everyone's a Fan of Those Alexander McQueen Armadillo Shoes —The now-iconic Spring 2010 Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes may be worn by the likes of Daphne Guinness in the everyday and Lady Gaga in her "Bad Romance" video, but a select few models wouldn't partake in the balancing act for the runway — perhaps that's why this season's cast seemed so young. According to Abbey Lee Kershaw, who once fainted in a corset at a McQueen show, she, Natasha Poly, and Sasha Pivovarova took one look at the shoes and collectively decided to forgo walking the show. [Frockwriter]
>> Kate Moss, who attended Yves Saint Laurent a couple of days ago, was in the house for Miu Miu — as were Baz Luhrmann and Renee Zellweger. Miuccia Prada took one of her favorite themes — "pretty perversity," as Suzy Menkes describes it — and sent out a trail of looks mixing prints of cats, swallows, or reclining nudes. Daisy fasteners were affixed on clutch bags.
“It is fresh — about how innocence can survive in this world,” Prada said of the collection, which juxtaposed sweet skirts and schoolgirl collars with bra-like cut-outs and harnesses; Prada exclusive Lindsay Wixson closed, wearing a crystal "rib-lace" — a harness-like necklace that passed beneath the bra.
Interesting side-note — apparently Miu Miu has departed from a number of US department stores after a disagreement over how it should be displayed, writes the Wall Street Journal: "the company wanted their own store-in-stores, while the stores wanted to mix Miu Miu in with the other bags, according to a person familiar with the company."
>> Louis Vuitton started exactly on time this afternoon, leaving more than a few editors shut out and half the front row empty; of those who did make it inside in time, some were still on the runway when the show commenced, leaving opener Patricia Van der Vliet to barge right through. Every single girl had on a sky-high afros, each made from five smaller wigs sewn together, which bobbed "up and down like big pom pom balls" as they walked; Grace Coddington apparently "whooped with delight" at the first sight of them.
A flurry of models were front row — Sophie Dahl and her fiance Jamie Cullum, Natalia Vodianova, Daisy Lowe — but Georgia May Jagger was a surprise on the catwalk. The show, inspired by the '80s and '90s New Age traveller and “street clothes, embracing the hippie-cyber, tribal-punk world,” according to Marc Jacobs, included everything from kitten-heeled clogs to bags with raccoon tails — straight from Williamsburg hipsters — to bike shorts and glitter anoraks. And Jacobs himself wore a pair of the furry clogs for the finale.
>> Raquel Zimmermann, who has been missing from the runways all season, finally made an appearance at Alexander McQueen — projected on a screen behind the runway, topless, with a snake writhing around her; she later morphed into an arm-waving sea creature. Two cameras, each mounted on a robotic arm that glided back and forth on the runway, moved over the audience, replacing the video of Raquel on the screen and signaling the start of the show, titled "Plato's Atlantis."
Stiffly sculptural minidresses started out in mirrored snakeprints, moving into owl and insect territory, and finally the aquatic. Hair, which began in cornrows with crimped tufts, ended in two gravity-defying horns, and the hologram catwalk operated on motion-control technology. Some of the white-faced models had prosthetics around their eyes, giving them alien-like bone structure, which took three hours to apply. And if the Fall 2009 Nina Ricci shoes needed an editorial replacement, McQueen has it for Spring 2010 — hoof-like platform booties that Imogen Morris-Clarke says were ten inches high.
The collection, embellished and couture-like as it was, will be reinterpreted to be more wearable for retail, but if the livestream — which couldn't handle all the people who tried to tune in — is any indication (full video can now be seen here), people do love their McQueen spectacles.
>> Inspired by Marie Antoinette's Petit Hameau farm at Versailles and the fact that he spent part of his childhood on a farm — "You hear a lot about the environment these days. I thought it would be interesting to put a fashion twist on it" — Karl Lagerfeld sent his parade of Chanel models stomping through dirt starting at the sound of a rooster's crow.
Guests sat on burlap aged to look mildewed as the high heel-clogged (Lagerfeld called them 5 o'clock clogs), fake tattooed, wicker basket-carrying girls stepped one by one from a giant haystack. The barnyard set took a month and a half of construction beforehand and then a week to assemble at the Grand Palais, where the show was held. Apparently pigs were supposed to be involved, too, but Heidi Mount Twittered that they were too scared to be in the show. Chanel face Lily Allen and mock band popped up through a trap door in the floor — Iekeliene Stange and Charlotte di Calypso provided backup singing — and Freja Beha Erichsen and Baptiste Giabiconi walked the runway four times together.
>> Stefano Pilati favors supermodels for his Yves Saint Laurent ad campaigns — five seasons strong now — and two showed up front row for the YSL show today: Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss. Pilati, who favors little color, as famously noted by Anna Wintour in The September Issue, stuck to mostly white and black, gray, and tan, with a little emerald, periwinkle blue, and coral pink thrown in for good measure. “It’s many, many ideas, a multiplicity of influences, an aesthetic paradigm of new minimalism,” the designer, often referred to as "cerebral" or "intellectual," said of the collection, which he styles himself.
He drew from Saint Laurent's heritage peasant motif, and added a dollop of strawberries — in prints, appliques, and ceramic earrings, which raised a number of eyebrows but have a fan in at least one influencer; Kate Moss announced backstage, “I want to wear that strawberry dress." For all the sweetness, there was no lack of edge: leather shorts with knee slits are sure to be a hit, and suiting was left with slashed hemlines and loose threads hanging.
>> For her first runway show since leaving Chloe in 2006 to focus on motherhood, Phoebe Philo sent out a fast-marching group of models swaddled in earth tones, clunky wood wedges, modified trenches, military details, lots of leather, and curiously few handbags, despite Celine's accessory-brand heritage. Bound inspiration books from Philo, containing photos of Kurt Cobain, disco balls, and work by David Sims and Helmut Newton were placed on every seat.
The mood of the collection, one of the season's most anticipated, Philo described as “purposeful and positive.” Backstage, while holding her five-year-old daughter, Maya, who attended the show with Philo's husband, she went on: "I wanted to clean it up, refocus, and present a strong, powerful woman." And of all the expectation: "It's just the beginning. It felt like, just take it easy, just start easy. It's nice to have the bubble of expectations burst. That feels good. Sometimes what people get into their head is unachievable."
In the front row were top photographers David Sims, Mario Testino, Craig McDean; Pucci designer Peter Dundas, who called the collection "wonderful"; and top LVMH brass, including Bernard Arnault, who stood to applaud Philo afterward. As Suzy Menkes put it, "This was an important exercise in making Celine fashion credible. And that was mission accomplished."
>> Jourdan Dunn Walks Spring 2010 Jean Paul Gaultier Runway Pregnant, Admits Used to Be on Not-Great Terms with Chanel Iman —In her seventh month of pregnancy — she's due with a boy in December — Jourdan Dunn hit her first catwalk so far this season over the weekend in a padded cone bra and baby bump plate for Jean Paul Gaultier. She's also appearing on Teen Vogue's November 2010 cover with Chanel Iman — inside, the latter admits they haven't "always been the best of friends": "Until recently, we barely even spoke. We went from being superclose in the beginning to dead silence if we saw each other backstage at a show." Jourdan chimes in: "It's competition. There aren't a lot of us, but instead of sticking together, we're pitted against each other. People will say things in Chanel's ear like, 'Jourdan is taking your spot,' and then they'll say to me, 'Don't trust Chanel.'" [Fashin, Teen Vogue]
Lindsay Lohan and Estrella Archs's First Emanuel Ungaro Collection for Spring 2010: The Reviews Are In (And Not Pretty)
>> Three weeks after they were tasked with designing the Spring 2010 Emanuel Ungaro collection, Estrella Archs and artistic advisor Lindsay Lohan took their runway bow — the former dragging the teary latter by the hand — yesterday to a beefed-up photographer's pit and an audience, many of whom just came because of the expected spectacle.
The result wasn't pretty: the collection's super-short minidresses and heart-shaped pasties peeking out of blazers and on the models' foreheads were ruled "a bad joke of a fashion show" by Style.com. Lohan's involvement was compared to "a McDonald’s fry cook taking the reins of a three-star Michelin restaurant" by the New York Times's Eric Wilson. Fabien Baron's take? "Call the fashion police!” And Harper's Bazaar's Glenda Bailey wouldn't even comment: “You know, if you don’t mind, I have to run out the door.” Even Dree Hemingway weighed in: "the first half might as well be alex wang last spring and i did see [Lohan] sporting that hot pink blazer of his..."
Lohan, who is reportedly being paid millions by Ungaro, called the show "the hardest thing I've ever done." Beforehand, she selected $150,000 worth of Ungaro clothes at the Paris flagship with CEO Mounir Moufarrige's blessing, supposedly cancelling an interview with Suzy Menkes. Some expect her to be gone before next season — even though she already said she was sketching for the next collection — but her contract is multiyear, and Moufarrige said his main goal in hiring her was to generate publicity, noting that he was suprised criticism hasn't been more negative. And even after the wave of bad reviews came out yeseterday, Ungaro's owner Asim Abdullah was defiant that either Lohan reignites the long-struggling Ungaro, or “we go down in a blaze of glory. Or unglory."